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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE FOR PURSUING MASTER DEGREE AT KING

ABDULLAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Dear Prof. G. Lubineau

First, let me introduce my self. I am Tegar Arief P, who was graduated from Mechanical
Engineering Department of Institut Teknologi Bandung in September 2014. I am so
interested in such reasearches about structure and recent material technology. Today, a lot of
equipments require a light-weigth structure. For example at transportaions, it is required
because of its higher efficiency that can be obtained. And in the future, the research topic
corresponding with light weight structure will be carried on sustainably. Therefore, I am
eager to pursue M.Sc in Mechanical Engineering of KAUST because it has a lot of research
facilities and publications about light-weight structure i.e carbon nanotube, etc. Also, through
this I want to understand and undergo the atmosphere of analyzing and researching for
sustainable engineering improvement and a better life of human kind.

In my undergraduate study, I conducted my final project/thesis with my supervisor Rachman


Setiawan S.T, M.Sc, Ph.D, about structural analysis of city car semi-monocoque strucure.
The objective of this project is a reverse engineering of city car’s semi-monocoque structure
design as one of the first stage activities of the development of Indonesian electric cars.
Structural analysis includes static analysis to estimate its stiffness and its strength using a
FEA-based software, as a conventional gasoline city car and a hyphothectical electric car.The
value of structural stiffness is obtained through bending and torsional load case analysis,
whilst structural strength is determined by safety factor values obtained through vertical,
lateral, and longitudinal load case analysis. For instance, herewith attached figure while
structure undergoes vertical load to estimate its strength.

The material used as structure is AHSS (Advanced High Strength Steel). The structure is
arranged from thin plate, so it is modeled as shell element for simplifying the analysis. After
that, the FEA is carried on to determine its stiffness and strength. The analysis results in the
structural flexural stiffness of 884 daN/mm, torsional stiffness of 98,377 daNm/rad. These
stiffness values are considered still within the range of design target recommended by Genta
and Morello. In addition, the safety factor values for vertical, lateral, and longitudinal load
cases are, respectively, 3.17, 2.58, and 3.87 as a conventional car, and 3.23, 2.94, and 4.17, as
an electric car. It is concluded that no major modification on the existing city car structure is
required, since the performance is even better as an electric car compared with as a
conventional car. The reverse engineering efforts also give invaluable lessons in the car
chassis design. [The paper version (unpublished) of my thesis also can be seen at the another
attached file on email].

Recently, I work at a certain engineering consultant company. My task is still arround


structure analysis i.e stress analysis on piping, pipeline, pressure vessel, etc. In addition, not
only achieving some new experiences, but I am able to sharpen my skills and knowledges as
well, from my project case and my partner or manager. In between my work, I sometimes
take my time to study about Carbon Nanotube by read some papers related with.

First paper I have ever read about CNT is Advances in the science and technology of carbon
nanotubes and their composites: a review (Erik T. Thostenson, et.al). From this paper, I
achieve some basic knowledges about CNT such its chirality structure, types, process
production, material properties, composites, etc. The most astonishing thing to me is its
material properties. Just like miraculous material, I mean, how does such a material have a
Young modulus approaching diamond, reported strenght 10-100 times higher than the
strongest steel, and large elongation but very low density almost like an air? Moreover, it also
has a remarkable thermal conductivity about twice as high as diamond and electric-current-
carrying capacity 1000 times higher than copper wires. Those make me dragged to conduct
FEA on CNT to estimate its Young modulus by my self since it has various values depends
on its approaching analysis method.

But wait, there are a lot of question in my head about modelling and analysis using FEM.

1. Assuming I am going to model zig-zag SWCNT. How many atoms of carbon are
along the circumference of CNT, regard with CNT’s diameter and length as well.
2. How long the distance between one atom to anothers is.
3. How I am modelling the covalent bond connecting the atoms and its properties.
4. Since basic equation of FEA that Young modulus must be established (assuming in
linear elastic), how I can obtain Young modulus of CNT using FEA.

Hence I have to search other papers or literatures to find the answers. And then I have most
of my answers in the these papers, A structural mechanics approach for the analysis of
carbon nanotubes (Chunyu Li, et.al) and Finite element modeling of single-walled carbon
nanotubes (K.I. Tserpes,et.al).

However, such a new question is appearing as well. The covalent bond can be assumed as an
uni-axial beam with tension, compression, torsion and bending capabilities. So, CNT can be
assumed as a space frame arranged by those beam as covalent bond and its atom as joint. The
Young modulus as FEA material properties is obtained by connecting molecular and
structural mechanic. Eventually, it obtains some equations to determine the diameter of
covalent bond “beam” as the thickness of CNT, its Young and shear modulus for a single
beam. But, in the analysis, the diameter of beam has a various value, with objective to
determine the influence of CNT thickness against its CNT Young modulus. Whereas, the
thickness of CNT or diameter of covalent bond “beam” should be obtained using equation
below, regarding with those papers.

𝑘Ѳ
𝑑 = 4√
𝑘𝑟
Which 𝑘Ѳ and 𝑘𝑟 are constants the values of 8.76x10-10N.nm.rad-2 and 6.52x10-7Nmm-1
respectively[1], for carbon-related-nanostructure. I think, it should be a fix value. I do not
understand yet how various values of CNT thicknesses are come across and what the
influence into the Young modulus of covalent bond “beam” is.

Besides, I also read your paper titled Analysis of interlaminar fracture toughness and damage
mechanisms in composite laminates reinforced with sprayed multi-walled carbon nanotubes
(Khaled Almuhammadi,et.al). Honestly, besides the “Introduction” and “Experimental
procedures”, what I really understand is just, the fracture toughness of nano-reinforced
prepreg carbon fiber is 17% tougher than neat prepreg one. Whilst about Raman spectrum,
why it has to be carried on, how the method to do is, I do not really understand to those. So I
have to learn more to fulfill my curiosity.

Therefore, I really hope to you, in order to consider my application for joining with your
research team. I am keen to learn about CNT especially at KAUST since in my country, CNT
is very difficult to be learned even just to be found. Moreover, I want to utilize my country’s
rich potential of carbon to be cultivated becoming CNT in the future. I sincerely hope that
you find my profile well suited to the requirements and gives me a chance to be a part of the
esteemed university and your research team.

[1] Cornell WD, Cieplak P, Bayly CI, Gould IR, Merz KM, Ferguson DM, et al. A second
generation force-field for the simulation of proteins, nucleic acids and organic molecules.
J Am Chem Soc 1995;117:5179–97